¶ A very Comforta­ble, and necessary Ser­mon in these our dayes, made by the right reuerend father, and faithfull seruaunt of Iesus Christ Martin Luther, concerning the comming of our Sauior Christ to iudge­ment, and the signes that go before the last day. Which Sermon is an exposition of the Gospell appointed to be red in the Church on the second Sonday in Aduent, and is now newly translated out of Latin into English, and something aug­mented and enlarged by the translator, with certaine notes in the margent.

Act. 17. 30. ¶ Now God admonisheth all men eue­ry where to repent, because he hath appointed a day in the which he will iudge the world in righteousnes, by that man whom he hath appointed: whereof he hath geuen an assurance to all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

2. Pet. 3. 3.

THis first vnderstand, that there shall come in the last daies, mockers, which will walke after their lustes, and say: where is the pro­misse of his commyng? for since the fathers dyed, all thynges continue a like from the begynning of the creation. For this they willingly know not, that the heauens were of olde, and the earth that was of the water and by the water, through the word of God. Wherfore the world that then was, perished, ouerflowed with the water: But the heauens and earth, which are now, are kept by the same word in store, and reserued vnto fire a­gaynst the day of iudgement, and of the destructiō of vngodly men. Dearely beloued, be not ignorant of this one thyng, that one day is with the Lord, as a thousand yeares, and a thousand yeare, as one day. The Lord is not slacke concernyng hys promes (as some men count slackenes) but is pa­cient toward vs, & would haue no man to perish, but would all men to come to repētaunce. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which the heauens shall passe away with a noyse, and the elementes shal melt with heate, and the earth with the workes that are therein, shalbe burnt vp. Seyng therfore that all these thynges must be dissolued, what maner persons ought ye to be in holy conuersation and godlynes: Lookyng for, and hastyng vnto the commyng of the day of God, by the which the heauens beyng on fire, shalbe dissolued, and the elementes shall melt
Esay. 65. 17. and. 66. 22.
with heate? But we looke for new heauens, and a new earth, accordyng to hys pro­mes, wherein dwelleth righteousnes. Wherefore, beloued, seyng that ye looke for such thynges, be dili­gent that ye may be founde of him in peace, without spot, and blameles.

¶ To all the inhabitauntes of Eng­land, and other els where that vnderstand the English toung, the translator whisheth true knowledge of God, contained in his word, which is lyfe euerlastyng.

BEfore tyme, not many yeares since (dearely beloued brethren & countreymen) the Disciples of Antichrist, and Apostles of Sa­than, for the establishyng of their Lordes kyngdome (knowyng that the cōtinuance therof, was the increase of their owne esti­matiō, wealth and pleasure in this world) haue deuised many politicke practises, so wicked and so deuilish, that whosoeuer be­holdeth them well, shall soone perceaue they were not inuented without the coun­sayle of their Lord and master. Wherof this was the first and chief, and (as I may say) the ground of the residue to keepe all men, both Princes and their subiectes, in ignoraunce of God, & hys word, that they not knowyng the truth, might the more casely be brought into all kynd of deuilish heresies: that they not vnderstanding vice, should not be able to reprehēd the horrible wickednes of Antichrist and hys mini­sters. To this end they haue restrayned all the laity throughout Christendome, from readyng the Scriptures, and haue forbyd­den them to be Printed in their vulgare tounges, an din stede thereof, haue geuen them to occupie theyr braynes withall, fa­bles [Page] of Robin Hood, of Gie of Warrike, of Geuis of Hampton, of the Knightes of the round table, of the iiij. sonnes of Amō, filthy tales, Chaucer, the Court of Uenus, most horrible & blasphemous lyes out of Saintes Legendes, and such lyke. Wher­by men beyng drowned in ignoraūce, and detestable heresies, haue bene cast downe headlong into the most miserable pit of hell. But now it hath pleased almighty God, towardes the commyng of our Sa­uiour to Iudgement, by the preachyng of hys word, through the workyng of hys holy spirite, to oppresse the power of Sa­than, to cut the hornes of Antichrist, to re­ueale2. Thes. 2. 3 the man of sinne: Which sittyng in the Temple of God, boasteth hym selfe as God. Now it hath pleased our Sauiour Christ to diminish the kyngdome of Anti­christ, & to aduaunce his owne kyngdome, to deface y Disciples of Antichrist, and to glorifie hys owne Disciples. He hath dri­uen out the filthy swyne and wylde bores, that haue spoyled hys vineyarde, andMat. 20. 1. hath hyred laborers to husband it agayne, that it may yeld hym frute now at haruest tyme, whē he commeth to receiue the same into hys euerlastyng kyngdome: at which tyme hys faythfull seruaūtes shall receiue for their hyre, a peece of money that neuer shall fayle, and shall eate and drinke the frutes of their labours with hym, world without end. Therfore it is conuenient [Page] and necessary for all Gods labourers, that is to say, Princes and their Magistrates, Prelates, and all Ecclesiastical Ministers, to labour diligētly in the Lords vineyard, to kepe out these swyne, which Antichrist hath sent to deuoure it: not onely to yoke them, but also to set dogges on thē, which wil both barcke and plucke of their [...]ares, if they enterprise to breake through the hedge, and to route vp y vines with theyr deuilishe bookes, altogether voyde of Gods word and of reason, to euery man that hath any vnderstandyng, and know­ledge of God. To this end by the authori­ty of our soueraigne Lady the Queenes Maiestie in our Realme, and other Prin­ces in other Realmes, a great number of godly men haue preached diligently, other haue written very profitable bookes of Diuinitie, both in Latin, and in theyr own vulgare toung, and diuers haue translated good bookes out of straunge tounges in­to their owne language, husbanding ther­by the Lordes vineyard, and keepyng out the swyne that endeuer to destroy it. A­mongest whom I beyng one more ready to shew my good will, then able to do any great seruice, haue chosen this short Ser­mon of Martin Luther, the faythfull seruant of God, Grādcapitaine vnder our Saui­our Christ, and chief hunter of these wyld bores, vnto theyr father the deuill, from whēce they were sent to destroy the sincere [Page] & true worshyp of God. This mans Ser­mon (I say) concernyng the commyng of our Sauiour to Iudgemēt, and the signes that go before the last day I haue chosen to translate into our English toung, as that which I thought a most cōuenient labour in this last houre of the day, to preserue inMat. 20. 6. the Lordes vineyard the ripe grapes from rottyng and from wild beastes, and to hast those that are vnrype agaynst the Lordes commyng, that is to say: to comfort the faythful, to confirme the weake, and to in­struct the ignoraunt, in diuers necessary pointes of doctrine, or at the least to geue them a watchword of our Lordes com­myng, that they may now at the lengthMath. 24. 49. Mat. 25. 4 cease from sinityng theyr felow seruants, and from eatyng and drynkyng with the drunken, and may make them selues rea­dy with oyle in their lampes to receiue hym: that when the trumpet bloweth, and the bridgrome commeth, we may all fo­low hym into hys euerlastyng tabernacle, therein to lyue with God the father, the sonne and the holy ghost, in e­uerlastyng ioy. To whom be all prayse, honor, and glory world without ende.


T. B.

THe places of Scripture, that apper­tayneth to this Sermon folowyng, are noted in the margent, to the end that the Readers, accordyng to the example of those men, mentioned in the Actes ofActes. 17. [...]1. the Apostles, may examine the Scrip­tures, and try whether it bée so or no, as the author hereof sayth: and rea­dyng them they may finde many moe Sentences besides for the comfort and confir­mation of their fayth.

¶ The Gospell for the second Sonday in Aduent.

THere shalbe signes in the Sunne, in the Moone, and in the Starres, and in the earth: the people shalbe at theyr wittes end thorow dispayre. The Sea and the water shall rore, and mēs harts shall fayle them for feare, and for loo­kyng after those thynges which shall come on the earth. For the powers of heauen shall moue, and then shall they see the sonne of man come in a cloude with power, and great glory. When these thynges begyn to come to passe, then looke vp, and lift vp your heades, for your redemption draweth nere. And he shewed them a similitude say­ing: behold the figge tree, and al other trees. When they shoote forth theyr buds, ye see and know of your selues that sommer is then nigh at hand. So lykewyse ye also, When you see these thinges come to passe▪ be sure that the kyngdome of God is nigh. Verely I say vnto you, this generation shall not passe, vntill all be fulfilled: heauen and earth shall passe, but my word shall not passe.

The Sermon, or exposi­tion of the Gospell.

IN this dayes Gospel,The effect of the Gos­pel▪ and the cause why it was written. Christ our Lord shew eth vs what shalbe the estate, and condi­tiō of the world, whē all things draw to an end: Wher­by we may know when the great and horrible day shall appeare (in the which Christ our Lord hym selfe shall come openly to Iudge­ment) that no mā nede to wauer, or doubt of ye matter. For he shew­eth playnly the signes that shal be sene in the last age, and shal go be­fore the last day, as tokens therof: because it cānot be chosen, but yt soSignes be fore y last day proued by humane reasō, groū ded vpon a certayne truth. straūge, yea & that the last chaūge of the whole world should be de­clared by many and great tokēs, seyng that much lesse alterations of countreys and natiōs haue ben signified by signes and wonders goyng before. Bycause this prefēt [Page] Gospell hath ben before tyme suf­ficiently declared, so that now it is well knowen vnto all men: I mynde not to shew the doctrine that therof may be gathered, but after an other maner and fashion to handle it, to the glory of God & our consolation. For therfore is it put in writtyng, and made mani­fest by preachyng, that it may serue to our cōfort, and to the en­crease of fayth and hope in vs,Rom. 15. 4 which professe Christ, and beleue in hym: notwithstandyng there is good cause why it may be a terror vnto the other sort of mē, I meane the wicked vnbeleuers, whose de­struction these signes do portend: Who in dede are nothyng moued with them at all, but with securi­ty of mynde do contemne them.

Therfore (commendyng them to our God, & theyr Iudge which shall come and reward them, ac­cordyng to theyr desertes, that by [Page] experiēce they may alwayes feele yt, which now they neither beleue nor regard) in handlyng the Gos­spell, we wil haue litle considera­tion of them, but wil make it frut­full vnto our selues, lest we should suffer it in vayne to be put in wri­tyng, and should leese the frute & commodity thereof. Which if we consider well, we shall perceiue that it contayneth matter very comfortable and ioyfull, seruyng much for our commodity. Which consolation and comfort is very nedeful for vs, seyng the signes of them selues are very terrible and (as I may say) horrible to behold.

Moreouer, Christiās as they are at other tymes fearefull enough, & of base courage, so whē they see the indignatiō and wrath of God towardes mākind, the waggyng of a leafe is able to make them a­mased,Example hereof are the inhabi­tantes of Hierus [...] ▪ before whose de­struction God sent most horri­ble tokens thereof. Whereof som they re garded not▪ some they enterpreted to signifie victory o­uer theyr enemies cōtra­ry to the true meanyng of them, and of God which sent them▪ and contrary to the expresse wordes of our Sauiour which be­fore had foretold them. and almost dead for feare: cōtrarywise the wicked are more [Page] secure and hard harted, and are moued with no signes, be they ne­uer so great and horrible. Ther­fore this thyng seemeth not to fall out indifferently, and as reason would: for they which chiefly should be afrayd, whom God by his signes doth terrible threaten, they (I say) haue hartes of horne, stone, and yron, so that they regarde them as thoughe they dyd no­thyng appertayne vn­to them, what soeuer wrath of God was to come, & beyng euen now at hand,Luke. 14. 43 they do forewarne & shewe. Con­trarywiseThe faith­ful haue no more cause to feare the signes of y last day, the Noe had, when the flud came▪ or Lot at y destruction of [...]odome & Go [...]orra which s [...] company of them that then were preserued, is a signe of the little flock which goeth by the narrow gate. they which ought not to bee moued, but rather reioyce when they see these signes and to­kens, as vnto them they do not portend any wrath or displea­sure of God, but fauour & conso­lation, they (I say) feare more thē nedeth, and can scarsely lift vp [Page] theyr harts to cōceaue such swete and comfortable cogitations as thereby occasion is offered.

Now to come to my matter, there are two thyngs chiefly to be noted in this Gospell: The one is, that our Sauiour reckoneth the signes in order which go before the last day, which being fulfilled,Math. 14. we may know for a certainty that the day is euen hard at hand. The other note is, that he sayth those signes shalbe a consolation and a comfort to hys Christian children, so that therby they may be moued to looke for hys commyng with a mery and cherefull countenance. The first signe (sayth he) shall ap­peare from heauen in the sunne, y moone, and the starres: that is to say (as Mathew doth expoūd it:) The sunne shalbe darkened, and the Math. 24. 29. moone shall not geue her light, and the starres shall fall from heauen. &c. Moreouer vpon the earth the [Page] people shalbe at theyr wittes end thorow dispayre, & shalbe in such perplexitye, that they shall not know whether to go, or where to abyde, their hartes shall fayle thē for feare of those thynges, which are like to come vpon them.

Agayne, signes shalbe seene in the Sea, & in the Waters, so that all creatures, and the powers of heauen shall moue: there shalbe such an alteration, that the world shall seeme by and by to haue an end, and the last day shall seeme hard at hand. Here I will not greatly contend with any mā, but will leaue it to the consideration of my Christian brethrē, whether the signes in ye sunne, the moone, and the starres be already fulfil­led, or not. But this is my belefe & most certaine hope, that the grea­ter part of them haue bene alrea­dy sene, and that many other are not here after to bee looked for. [Page] For if we will beleue, there hath bene sene euen in our time aboun­dantly both many and great Ec­lipses or darkenyngs of the sunne and mone within few yeares to­gether, one after an other, besides diuers in one yeare: the lyke we haue not read to haue appeared at any time before since the begyn nyng of the world. But he that will not beleue the word of God, will not beleue y signes, nor take them for signes, but will cōtemne them, and tread them vnder hys foote, yea although ye sunne should be dayly darkned before his eyes, & the starres should fall by heapes from heauen. Although Astrono­mers say that such darkenynges of the sunne and moone happen by y course of nature (which some of them can tel of before hand) yet they deny not, but they signifie some terrible thyng to happen on the earth, especially seyng there be [Page] so many, & all most euery yeare.

Besides this, contrary to the course of nature, many signes haue bene sene in the Heauens, many Sunnes at one time, many Raynebowes, many terrible bla­syng Starres, fyres in the ayre like dartes and swordes, and di­uers other prodigious sygnes, which if they should be written, would fill a whole volume: but all are forgotten, if they be not dayly before our eyes, and assone as they are past, we liue securely as though no such thyng had euer happened at any tyme: yea rather the oftener they happen, so much the lesse we regard them. For we take thē for customable thynges, thinkyng with our selues that of necessitye they must so come to passe, makyng no more accountes of them afterwardes. And true it is, that of necessity they must so come to passe, otherwise they [Page] should be tokens in vayne, and the world should not bee so soone destroyed, if it beyng moued ther­by, should beleue the Gospell. For it might (turnyng to God by re­pentaunce) auoyde, or turne away his wrath▪ or at the least prolong it for a tyme. But alas, this is ra­ther the chief care of the world, by continuyng in wickednes, & most obstinatly heapyng sinne, to hastē Gods wrath, and spedely to pro­cure [...]hys owne destruction. Thus much as concernyng the signes in the Sunne, the Moone, and the Starres.

Now as touchyng the signes in the Sea, and the Waters, I commit them in like maner to the Iudgement of my Christian bre­thren: Whether they be fulfilled al ready or no. Old men testify, that no man aliue is able to remember so great tempestes, windes, and floudes as haue happened within [Page] these few yeares. Some floudes haue drowned whole countreys, such haue happened of late about Rome, and in the lower Ger­many: besides the earth quakes which we haue heard of, but I let them passe. By these thynges it semeth that such is now the condition of the world, that no­thing shall continue any longer in hys old estate, but all things shall quickly be turned vpsidedowne, and fall to decay. And also this we see come to passe by many ex­amples, that many are so trou­bled and vexed, that for very an­guishe of mynde they dispayre. Which thyng may be vnderstan­ded both bodely and spiritually, but especially spiritually. For we haue heard of many before tyme, and yet dayly heare of mo, whom the deuill so troubleth and vexeth by temptations and desperation, that for the greatnes of the grief [Page] and anguish, they lay hand vpon them selues, & procure their owne death: so that we see all the signes forespokē by our Sauiour Christ, haue happened in all the world. And although all thynges be not fully cōplished and ended, yet we can not deny, but that the greater part of them is already fulfilled, especially so many happenyng to­gether one after an other. Ther­fore litle or nothyng hereafter is to be looked for besides the end of all thyngs, which signes are ther­fore forespoken, to put vs out of doubt, and that we should not thinke they happen without a cause by chaūce or fortune, rather thē to signifie some notable thyng to come. But they are in dede all of them terrible signes, threate­ning vnto the world cruell euēts, although it do not feele them, nor care for them. But true Christians do both see them, and marke them [Page] well, & are therby terrified much more then nedes, seyng they are not sent to their destruction, but rather to their consolation: & ther­fore they ought with ioy & glad­nes to behold & cōsider them, and not be discouraged, although the firmament appeare lamentable vnto the beholders, the Sunne, the Moone, the Starres and all the heauen beyng darkened.

The Sunne, although he be couered with a thicke and blacke cloude, although he leese his light, neuerthelesse he goeth forwardes in hys course, he is no worse then he was before, he remaineth the same Sunne still, and shineth as he dyd before, sauyng that he low­reth for a time in token of destruc­tion to wicked men: in lyke ma­der ye residue, as the Moone and the Starres, in that they seeme terrible to behold, it is no harme vnto them selues: For they are no [Page] tokens vnto them selues, but vn­to the wicked world, of whō they are contēned. After the same sort, whereas mē are troubled and ve­xed, hauyng a timerous & feare­full consciēce, it is in dede a terri­ble signe, but not vnto thee or thē which suffer this, if they be Chri­stians: onely it signifieth destru­ction to the wicked, and despisers therof, which do not suffer it, but neglect it: For the sufferers are preserued neuerthelesse, and take no harme therby, although they go vp and downe with a pensiue mynde; in token of destruction to the wicked, and vngodly persons. Euen as Esay went naked, and without shooes, and Ieremy ca­ryed a chayne about hys necke for a signe of misery and calamity to the Egyptians, and Philistines, and yet no harme happened vnto ei­ther of them. For Ieremy remay­ned out of bondage▪ & thraldome, [Page] and in as much liberty, as he was before, and Esay notwithstādyng hys▪ nakednes, kept still hys gar­mentes: So they which kepyng vnto them a good cōscience, do ca­ry about them these tokens, shal­be without harme, and voyde of of all daunger, onely they declare vnto other, what shortly after shalbe their estate and condicion.

For although they bee euill signes, yet they bryng no euill to them that cary them. Otherwise, he that hath the execution of con­demned persons, would not cary the sword, or the axe, neither durst any mā cary a weapon: But thou which art a mansleaer and mur­derer take thou hede to thy selfe, for thou art lyke to go to the pot when the officer draweth foorth his sword. In lyke maner the fire, the gibbet, the halter, ye gallowes hurte not them selues, but bryng destructiō to theeues and robbers [Page] which haue committed haynous offences: So before the last day there must be many men, whom the deuill troubleth and vexeth with greuous temptations, and so oppresseth them with anguish, that they cā not tel which way to turne them, or where to abide. Of which sort of men Gerson of Paris, and certain confessors haue writ­ten many thynges, especially in Monasteries. We haue had expe­rience of them in whom hath ben tender and fearefull consciences. But let hym so vexe and terrify men, he shal not hurt them, if they be not such as God hath determi­ned to terrify and condemne, as the wicked and the vngodly: but rather such as are fearefull, & ten­der of mynde, and would gladly receiue comfort, and turne vnto God, and can finde no comfort or relief, vntil God himselfe haue de­liuered them out of the misery of [Page] their afflicted consciēce, and haue cōforted them by hys word. One­ly feare thou, & take hede, which beyng secure and mery, cōtemnest all thinges, wherby God threate­neth thy destruction. Unto these signes, that appertayneth where hee sayth: Mens hartes shall fayle them for feare, and for lookyng for those thynges which shall happen vnto the whole world: that is to say, many shal be troubled in their myndes, that they shall go like mē amased, and as though they dyd presently feele the daunger that they see hāgeth ouer their heades, for feare: Wherof they are so ve­xed, that the greatnes of the grief, and anguish of mynde causeth thē to consume and pine away: Euen as sorow vseth to wast mans life, euen as a priuye consumptiō doth eate, or sucke the marow out of y bones (as the wise mā wytnessethProu. 17. 22. in his Prouerbes.) These men [Page] must feele these signes, not as to­kens vnto them selues, but vnto them which are more worthy to feele them. But bicause thou doest contemne them, at length thou shalt feele more greuously, not signes, but those thynges which therby are signified, that is to say, euerlastyng terrour, feare, sorow, and hell fire. For if iust men suffer and feele these things in the earth for a tyme: What shall we say will become of them for whose sakes they are sent, and whose destruc­tion God thereby doth threaten? Notwithstādyng they esteme thē no more then the paryng of theyr nayles: But are dayly worse and worse, vntill experience (alas to late) doth teach them. What folye and madnes was in their brayne, when they gaue them selues to all pleasure and voluptuousnes, to all kynd of worldly ioy and pastyme? Whiles iust men were vexed with [Page] great sorow & anguish of mynde, consideryng the great & horrible plagues which God hath prepa­red for all disobedient, stubburne and stifnecked infidels and Anti­christes. It is a very hard thyng to behold many so terrible and so horrible signes, which with no small feare shal amase the mindes of many (as Christ here sayth) and fil them with such sorow, and hea­uynes, that they shall seeme to be voyde of all consolation and com­fort to those that see them. But if thou be a Christian, do thou not looke either vppon the externall signes of heauen, or the earth, nei­ther vpon that which yu feelest thy selfe: but looke yu vpon the necessi­ty, both of thy selfe & of the whole world, vnto whō God (as his vn­fallible word doth testify) hath ap pointed such thinges. Except that day shuld come at y length, I had rather I had neuer bene borne.

[Page]For let vs consider what is now the estate and cōdition of the world, & how it dealeth with vs, and with the Gospell of our Sa­uiour Christ, most cruelly persecu­tyng the Preachers therof, by mē that are driuen headlong throughReade that discouery of the Spa nish Inqui sitiō for the further de­claration of these wordes. the deuill, to deuise dayly mischie­uous and vntollerable tormentes for the same purpose. They most wickedly cōtemne and despise the Gospell, they scoffe at it, they speake spitefull and blasphemous wordes against it, most sclaunde­rously, endeueryng therby all that they may, to deface the faythfull seruaūtes of Iesus our Sauiour.

So vnthankefull is the world for the Gospell, such deadly & poy­soned hate doth it beare towards Gods ministers, beyng more madGene. 4. 8. [...]e. [...]7. 41. Exod. 1. 15 1. Sam. 19 11. and. 1. Reg. 18. 13. and. 19. 2. & wood against thē, thē euer was Cain agaynst Abell: then Esa [...] a­gainst Iacob: thē Pharao against y Israelites: thē Saul agaynst Dauid, [Page] then Iesabell against the true Pro­phetes, then Herode agaynst theMath. 2. 16 Innocentes: finally then the de­uilish Scribes and Phariseys a­gaynst Christ our Sauiour. A­gayne on the other side, there is an infinite number of wicked mē, as Idolaters, prophaners of the Sabboth by seruyng theyr owne couetous & censual lustes, in stede of God, vayne swearers, drun­kardes, rebels, robbers, & spoylers one of an other, adulterers, de­ceyuers, lyers, false witnes bea­rers, cursed speakèrs, voluptuous men and wemē, slaunderers, ma­licious, enuious, couetous, ambi­tious, and periured persōs: so that there can scarce be sene in all the world one token of discipline, re­uerēce, feare, good maners, or pu­nishment of malefactours.

Princes seeke theyr owne ho­nour, more then ye honour of God, and theyr own profite, more then [Page] the profite of y cōmō weale. They make bloudy battailes for small trespasses agaynst thē selues, not passing for many haynous offēces cōmitted against God. Through ambition they picke quarels and wage war to enlarge theyr owneGod [...] king [...]oure as it [...] takē for the whole world, can [...]t be en­larged, but [...]s it is ta­ken for the congrega­tion of the Christians when hys worde is truly prea­ched, so it may and is dayly en­larged. kyngdomes, hauyng no regarde to enlarge the kyngdome of God.

Subiectes (beyng destitute of good officers, and Preachers of Gods word) lyke mad men bere [...]t of theyr wyttes, rebell agaynst their Prince: They regarde not their lawes, but either wilfully and openly breake them, or elles seeke meanes to delude them, to the satisfiyng of their owne wic­ked lustes. Priuate men kepe no good lawes, but by compultion: Officers see no lawes kept, but in respect of their owne cōmoditie, & to that end many tymes they pur­posely breake good lawes: for bribes or for frendship, oppresse the [Page] poore, and defeate them of theyr right, either by false Iudgement, or by delayes, & such other crafty conueances. Lawyers encorrage their cliētes (aswell him that hath the false, as hym that hath y good cause) to go forwardes with the law, vntill theyr money be spente, and then they send them home to agree amōgest theyr neighbours. Clientes (such are their couetous and malicious myndes) some to enrich them selues, wil wrongful­ly by processe of law chalēge other mens goods: some to vexe & trou­ble other men, will by sutes in the law vndoe both them selues, and their neighbours. Rich men ne­glect the poore, and suffer them to perish for hunger. Poore men (a great nūber of them) are idle loy­terers, & will rather by pryggyng and such like meanes shift for thē selues, then by honest labour get their liuing. Old mē in all kind of [Page] lewdnes, are an example to the youth. Young men and maydes take an example of the most part which is wicked, rather then of the lesser part which is godly. Pa rents and masters do not instruct their children and seruauntes in the true fayth, feare, and woor­shyp of God. They seeke the bode­ly health, and worldly profite of their Children, but theyr soule health and heauenly profite they regard not at all. Childrē and ser­uaūtes that are godly instructed, despise theyr teachers, and folow the deuilish entisementes of theyr lewd companions.

Ecclesiastical persons that are in authoritie, seke more the main­tenaunce of their owne honour and estimation, then the furthe­rance of the Gospel. They seke not the encrease of godly preachers in their Diocesses, nor the reforma­tiō of such as are idle, and vngod­ly: [Page] yea they suffer theyr owne fa­milies at home to be full of disso­lutnes, much more their Dioces abroad. They admit into the mi­nistery all maner lewd & vnlear­ned persons: They able not vnto one onely, but vnto many bene­fices, those that are both vnable, & vnwillyng to discharge one, or to take any paynes at all in the vine­yard of God: yea many boyes that are neither Ministers, nor fit to enter into the Ministery. Priuate Ministers are some of them, idle loyterers, domme dogges, hyre­lynges which suffer the wolfe to deuoure their flocke, feeders of thē selues, and not of Christes sheepe committed to their charge. Other some (takyng vppon them to be Preachers, not so much inwardly as outwardly called therunto) in preachyng the Gospell, preach them selues, and not Christ, as mē not endued with the spirit of God [Page] (which without parciality repro­ueth all the world of sinne, rightu­ousnes and Iudgement) they re­buke some of lower sorte, and flat­ter such as are able to do them a pleasure. They preache many times sound doctrine, but by their wicked lyuyng they bryng it in contempt, and are therby cause of more offences, thē if they had spo­ken nothyng at all. They speake many tymes of them selues, and not that which they haue heard in the Prophetes and Euangelistes, and writtynges of the Apostles, but their owne fantasies. They do not glorifie Christ, but thē selues: For they take not that which is Christes, but that which is their own, & declare that vnto the peo­ple. The most part of the people heare not the word of God at all, but either absēt thē selues from y Church, or els sodenly departe, be­fore they haue heard the Scrip­tures [Page] read, or any part therof ex­pounded. Generally all sortes of men, the more they are instructed by the word of God, the worse they are, & cā not abide in any case to be reprehended and rebuked for their wickednes.

So is the word of God, & hys law troade vnderfoote of all de­grees, and ye true preachers ther­of receaue no other reward of mē, but scoffes, and mockes, and deui­lish hatred, which is very greuous to good Christians, and pearceth the hart lyke a sword. Ought we not therfore to pray day & night, & cry vnto Christ our Lord, that now at the length he will vse hys seueritie, and suffer all thynges to come to ruine, that such detestable wickednes may haue an end, and that all occasion of offence, all snares and stoomblyng blockes,1. Cor. 15. 19. may be quite taken away? For ex­cept at length we should be pre­serued [Page] from these thynges, we were of all men that euer were borne most miserable. For we must not so much consider the harme & destruction of the world, nor the misery of y wicked world­lynges, but how great a grief it is to vs, & to all Christiās to seé God hym selfe & hys word contemned, reproued, & blasphemed, and hys preachers most spitefully hadeled, iniuriously trode vnder foote, and most cruelly tormented in the world: all preaching, crying out a­gaynst wickednes, rebukes, ad­monitions, and threatnynges are allmost vnprofitable, & in vayne.

Therfore y beholdyng of these signes aforesayd, ought much to reioyce vs, as by the which al­mighty GOD declareth, to our great comfort, that he will fight shortly with the world, and will deliuer vs out of all our miseries and calamityes. Therefore it is [Page] our part, not onely with ioye t [...] looke for this day of saluation, but also with feruent desire, and ear­nest request to desire it of Christ our Lord, saying after this sorte: Thou Lord hast promised to vs this day of redemption, therfore ifApoc. 22▪ 20. it be thy pleasure let it come quick­ly, and make an end of our mise­ries in this life, and for euer world without end. As touching our mi­series in this life, we may take an example of the most deuilish Pa­ [...]istes, the deadly enemyes of God and vs: how couragious they are, how they triumphe and leape for ioy, as oftē as there appeareth vn to them neuer so litle hope to op­presse the Gospell and vs with it.

With what exclamations and earnest requestes, dyd they desyre the commyng of Caesar the Empe­rour into Germany, to destroy the Lutherianes (as they terme vs) & to establish agayne their tyran [...]i­call [Page] power? What daunsyng, lea­pyng and triumphes dyd they prepare agaynst hys commyng? Bragges aboue measure, reioy­sing, singyng, laughyng, leapyng, & clappyng of handes was heard amongest them, which hoped to bathe themselues in our bloud, Their reioysynges wereUnto this place apper tayneth the hystory of of y Emperour Char les the v. of that name who, the yeare of our Lord. 1521. sēt for Lu­ther vnto Wormes a Citie in Germany by an Herauld of armes with letters of safe cō ­duct, to whom hee came boldly, although some persuaded hym that hee should neuer haue come from thēce alyue. There he was examined before the Emperours Ma [...]esty of y bokes that he had wri [...]tē, and whether he would recāt them, or any thyng in them contained. Who aun­swered that he would [...]cant so much as any mā was able to proue false by the worde of GOD, otherwise he would deny nothyng that hee had written. After a while when no other aunswere could be gottē of him▪ the Emperour gaue hym leaue to departs wtout daūger, bycause of his safe conduct. a [...] though many labou­red to the contrary. especially the Popes Embassadour: as in the booke of y Actes and Mon [...] mēts more playnly is declared. so great, that they could not tell how, nor by what meanes to expresse the gladnes of their myndes. Some went vp & downe laughyng in theyr sleues, & did not communicate to any man the secret ioye of their hart: sauing onely vnto their frēdes, whom they made partakers ther of by sendyng letters to & fro. Other some wt open mouth did cry out, and made manifest theyr ioye to al men that did see thē, [Page] saying: our Sauiour cō ­meth, our Sauiour com­meth (meanyng the Em­perour) so that theyr ioye was passing measure.

See these desperate theeues, and murderers, how they reioyced in a false sauiour, which was not able to helpe thē any thyng at all, no although he had ioyned all his power with them, & had gathered together an infinite number of armed men to take their part: yet so they dyd hope that they should be exalted againe, yea a great deale more ho­norably, & set in higher authoritie, thē at any tyme before when they lyued in abominable wickednes, in all dissolute behauiour, hauing their hartes hardned, so that they could not repent. They were so past al feare, & so iocunde, yt almost with great grief of mind, I doub­ted [Page] God would not performe hys promise, but should be foūd a lyer, where he sayth, that he onely will be our Sauiour, and that we should not put any confidence inEsay. 4. 11 Psal. 146. 3. Princes, as in whom there is no hope of saluation.

This I somethyng doubted, when they laying their heades to­gether, whispered one with an o­ther, tooke counsaile, and conclu­ded with them selues, with what army, with what furniture, and with what weapons they would set vppon vs, as though they had had vs presētly in hold. They did so thunder agaynst vs with most cruell threatenynges, as though they would haue depriued God of hys tittle vz. that is, hee which scattereth the counsayles of Prin­ces, and bryngeth to naught theyr Psal. 33. 10 Prou. 21. 1 [...] vayne imaginations. But God al­mighty, in whose handes are the hartes of all Princes, suffered not [Page] his honor to be taken away from him, but as one which is all truth, stode to his promise, and compel­led them to leaue vnto hym hys glorious title, and we remaine by the great goodnes of God alyue at this day, and they are defeated of their false sauiour. They were wonderfully deceaued of their ex­pectation, For they did not finde the godly Emperour such a mā as they would, nor as they thought they should. Therfore in despite of all their cruell bragges (thākes be to God) we are yet safe enough, and doubt not, but ma [...]ger their heades we shall so continue for a time, vntill it please y true Saui­our, which saueth all the world, to receaue our soules into his hādes.

Hetherto I haue recited these thyngs for an example, seyng they put so much trust and confidence in one mā, of whom they haue noThe [...]ro­mise of God is the ground of true fayth, which pro­mise was thoro [...]ly [...]oted in Luthers hart, as ap peareth eu [...] dently by his words. promise, neither if he had promi­sed [Page] them, it had not bene in hys power to haue performed it. And why shuld not we put much more trust in our true Sauiour, which hath not onely most certainly pro­mised to come shortly, and deliuer vs, but also can and will performe hys promise? He will not deceaue vs (for he is no lyer at any tyme) especially when we looke for hym with a good confidence, sufferyng all thynges for his sake, in a iust quarell, which is not ours, but his owne, and not triumphyng lyke them: Which puttyng theyr trust in Caesar, hope for the confirmatiō of their haynous and mischieuous actes.

Yet it is more conuenient for vs to reioyce and say: O what an excellent golden world shall that be, when our true Sauiour shall come, and shall quite abolish at once all wickednes & all iniuries which we must suffer for a tyme, [Page] and shall make an ende of all mi­series and calamities? Neither shall the Gospell nor hys holy name be neglected, or blasphe­med any more. The preachers therof, which now are poore and nedy, shalbe no longer trod vnder foote, neither shall they suffer any more persecution: neither shall there bee afterwardes any more theft, robbery, spoylyng, iniury, false accusations, fornication, ly­ing, crafty conueyance, flattery, periury, adultery, murder, trea­son, all these thinges (which now almost euery man doth commit without punishment, or rebuke) shall cease. And we finally shall be deliuered from all euill, so that we nede not to feare the world, sinne, death, hell, nor the deuil: For euer­lastyng saluation, peace, tranqui­litie, and ioy, shall reigne ouer vs. And ought not we with most fer­uēt prayer to desire these thinges? [Page] If we could see perfectly how we are compassed euery where with an infinite nūber of deuils: Which euery moment of an houre ayme, and shoote at vs with their vene­mous darts, and all entisements, and prouocations to sinne: then we would pray dayly, kneelyng vpon our knees, yea and would weepe bloud, desiryng God to make an ende of this miserable lyfe.

Therfore now Christ our Sa­uiour putteth vs in mynde in this Gospel to behold these signes ther in mentioned with ioye, saying: When these thinges begyn to come The secō [...] part of the Sermon. to passe, looke vp, and lyft vp your heades, for your redemption draw­eth nygh. Heauinesse for the most parte naturally causeth a man to looke downewards, and they that are troubled in their myndes goe heauily, knitting their browes to­gether. Contrary wise a mery and [Page] ioyfull hart maketh a man to hold vp hys head, to streatch out hys browes, and to looke merily and pleasantly about him. Therefore heChristes [...] [...]arapha­stically ex­pounded. sayth: When you see these signes come to passe, whē all thynges in heauen and earth, with lowryng [...]here do terrify your myndes, so yt you cast downe your heades for sorow and grief, be you not there withall troubled: For they are not tokens of destructiō vnto you, but vnto them which molest, vexe & persecute you. Therefore be of good [...]here, and looke vp lustely: For they bryng not tydings of de­struction, but of deliueraunce vn­to you, of vnspeakeable treasure & abundaunce of all good thynges, such as no harte can desire or thinke. And geue no place to the deuill, which beateth these signes into your heades, to terrifie you, & to bryng you into dispayre, so that you cannot lift vp your heades, & [...] Cor. [...]. 9. [Page] desire that ioyfull day. Accustome your selues rather to behold them a right, liftyng vp your heades with ioy, as I haue sayd, seyng there is no cause why you should trouble and vexe your selues, but rather reioyce. For they declare no other thyng vnto you, but that your redemption is now at hand, and that I will come shortly, and deliuer you out of your troubles.

Behold this notable instruc­tour, which knoweth better how to expound signes and tokens of thyngs to come, then any Soth­sayer, or Astronomer. They onelyThe diffe­rence be­twene the prognos [...]i­cation of Christ, and Astrono­ [...]. prognosticate terrible and horri­ble euentes therof, but our Saui­our Christ sayth, they be tokens of great ioy and gladnes shortly af­ter to ensue. These thinges which mans reason & all the world doth take for signes of destruction, and teach vs to pray that they come not to effect: the same thynges he [Page] (vnto whō nothyng is vnknowē) prognosticateth to be tokens of all goodnes.

Amongest all other he vseth this most comfortable word: your redemption, which euery faythfull man, with all his hart doth desire most earnestly. For what els mea­neth this word: your redemption, but that thou, which now art in bondage, vnder the dominion of the deuill, who setteth vpon thee with all kynd of wicked dartes, & bendeth all his force agaynst thee, that yu, I say (which art oppres­sed and ouerwhelmed of y world with many miseries, in daunger of all misfortune, out of the which no earthly creature is able to de­liuer thee) shalt now be deliuered and saued by Christ thy Lord, and placed there, where thou shalt raigne as Lord ouer the world, death & the deuill? Why shouldest thou feare, or be amased with such [Page] signes and tokēs? Why shouldest thou not rather with cherefull countenaunce receaue and em­brace them?

What wouldest thou do, if thouCertain si­militudes whereby it is declared with what ioy wee ought to looke for y commyng of ou [...] Sa­uiour to Iudge­ment. shouldest stand in a circle, beset with all kynd of weapons, or ra­ther with gunnes, beyng charged and bent agaynst thee, as the one­ly marke at the which they should be shot of: Where present death should be continually before thy eyes? If God by his diuine pow­er, should take thee beyng in this case away sodēly, and deliuer thee from thē: or if thunder and lighte­nyng from heauen should at once ouerthrow and strike downe to y groūd, all thy enemyes with their daggers, swordes, speares and gunnes: Wouldest thou not re­ioyce with all thy hart? If a poore prisoner, which vnder a rigorous & cruell tyraunt hath lyued a long tyme, in a filthy and stincking pri­son, [Page] besides the sufferyng of many other cruell tormentes: if such a man (I say) should heare, that hys owne Prince would come to deli­uer hym, & by force of armes take hym out of so great miseries and calamities: How would he be af­fectioned in his mynde trow you, if hee should see hym commyng with a mighty armye of men, and with gunnes, strikyng downe the walles of y Castle where he lyeth? No doubt it would be a terrible sight to all the residue therin aby­dyng: But vnto this prisoner it would be very comfortable & ioy­full. The noyse and roryng of the gūnes would much more delight hys eares, then any musicall har­mony of swete songes, or pleasant instrumētes. That day (no doubt) he would celebrate with much so­lēnitie, geuyng God thankes that he had lyued to see that ioyfull houre.

[Page]Euen so ought we to do when we see these signes mentioned by our Sauiour Christ in this Gos­pell. If fire, water, thunder, and lightenyng fall from heauen so thicke, and with such abundaunce as though all thinges in a momēt should vtterly be destroyed: We must thus thinke with our selues, that it is the prouision and ordi­naunce of God our Kyng & Cap­taine. Wherby he destroyng and ouerthrowyng the prison house, will deliuer vs, which are kept bound in the kyngdome of the de­uill, vnder sinne, afflicted of the world with manifold miseries & calamities. Wherfore then should we be afrayde, when we see these thynges? Why should we not ra­ther ioyfully suffer al maner of tor­mentes, wherwith the world, and the deuill molesteth vs, that our redemer may come the sooner, & deliuer vs? For without his com­fort [Page] and consolation, we were of al men (as I said) most miserable, and might well wish that we had neuer ben borne, and that we had no God at all. Therfore let vs cō ­fort our selues with these ioyfull cogitations, knowyng for a cer­taintye that our deliuerer will come, and that these signes are (as I may terme them) his Haroulds of armes, wherby he giueth to vs to vnderstand, that he him selfe is not farre behynd.

In the meane season, although in the world we be tossed, vexed, and afflicted with many stormes, thorow the intollerable wicked­nesMath. 27. 34. of vngodly mē: although they geue vs vineger mixed with gall to drinke, bysides other dayly mis­fortunes, as sickenes, pestilence, dearth, & warre, which are gre­uous to the body, or to the out­ward man: yet we must suffer and abyde all these thynges with pa­tience: [Page] We must be contēt to drinke this bitter drinke for a time, that y The com­moditie of affliction in this world. swete drinke which hereafter shal be geuē vs, may be the more plea­sant to our tast, and that we may therby be moued ye more earnestly to pray for the cōmyng of our true sauiour: otherwise we should be­haue our selues like sauage & wild mē, which bereaued of their wyt, haue no perseuerance of the daun­ger that hāgeth ouer their heades: euen like the secure and carelesse world which knoweth not how to repent, yea we should be drow­ned in ye desire and loue of world­ly honor, wealth and pleasure, & at the length cast of all care of Gods word, and vtterly perish with the wicked world.

Therfore this bitter drinke is commodious vnto vs: For it bree­deth in vs a saciety and lothsom­nes of this life, and comfortably causeth vs to hope for a life, much [Page] more excellent now, whē our true Sauiour shall come in ye cloudes,Mat. 24. 30. with power & great glory: Who shall deliuer vs from all daunger, receiue vs to him selfe into the life euerlastyng, then the which no­thyng cā be more ioyfull. But vn­to the wicked worldlyngs which set their whole delight vpon this lyfe, caryng nothyng for God, hys commyng shall not be very accep­table:1. Thes. [...]. 3 Math. 24. 27. 1. Cor. 15. 52. For in a moment he shall bring them to nought, so that they shall be constrained to lye in euer­lastyng paynes and tormentes, which arrogantly contemne and despise both hys signes and hys word.

And whereas this is no small grief to good Christians, to consi­der in their myndes such a great destruction of the world, whereby they trouble them selues for their sakes, which shall perish: our Sa­uiour by the wordes contained in [Page] the latter part of this Gospell, withdraweth their myndes from such cogitations, mouing them to cōsider rather how necessary their owne▪ redemption is, then the great destruction of the wicked: which for their desertes, God of his iustice hath prouided for them. For they can neuer make an ende of persecutyng the Gospell, which most contumeliously and blasphe­mously they spit at, cōtemne and scoffe, and rashly, iniuriously, and by force greue & oppresse the prea­chers therof: from which wicked purpose they can not bee with­drawne by any admonitions, in­treatynges, rebukes or threate­nynges. A man were as good speake vnto a stocke or a stone, as vnto thē, for they will not beleue, before they try by experience how wonderfully they were deceaued, and what punishment God hath prouided for such yron harted infi­dels. [Page] They are so secure and care­les, that what so euer hap­peneth,This saying of the wicked is after a sorte true: For the good preacher may bee a cause of trouble, first bycause where y word of GOD is sincere­lye preached, the de­uill moueth and ray­seth tumultes to sup­presse it: secondly, where it is preached and not obeyed, the greater shall bee the plagues of the stub­burne and stiffenecked people. terrible to ye eyes, or horrible to the eares, that they turne from them selues vpō vs, saying, that we are the cause of all mi­serie and calamitie, of all daūger, of all mischief. Fi­nally when we haue done all that we cā do, by prea­chyng, praying, counsay­lyng, yea and aduēturyng our owne liues to profite y world, we are rewarded with vtter con­tēpt, hatred, enuy, and most craf­ty dealyng, which are able to make a mās hart to cleaue a sun­der for sorow, and grief of minde.

Therfore God cannot chuse (if he will beare any sway in earth) but once at the length let them see by experience, that his word and threatninges are true, which they scorne and iest at, and that he is [Page] able to deliuer out of trouble hys Christian children most miserably afflicted. And bycause the childrē of the world do despise his Pas­sion, death, and resurrection, and all thinges that he did or speake, with a secure and carelesse mynd: therfore once at the length they shall be terrified and feared, when we shall lyue pleasantly and ioy­fully in euerlastyng lyfe.

Therefore if thou haue any sparke of pitie in thy brest, take pi­tie rather of ye afflicted Christians, which must suffer so many mise­ries and calamities in the world: yea rather lament the state of the Gospell, and the most holy name of Christ our God, (in the which thou wast baptized, and called to be partaker of lyfe euerlastyng,) which the wicked worldlyngs do so vyly and blasphemously spit at, despise, treade vnder their feete, & reuile with most spiteful words. [Page] What kynd of pitie call you this, to take pitie of these cruell murde­rers, hauyng an hart so stony that it cannot repent, which will not amend their life and make an end of their mischieuous actes, before they bee vtterly destroyed with their forefather Pharao, and such other as haue bene rebellious a­gainst y maiesty of almighty god?

I had rather tenne worldes should perish ten tymes, then one true Christian should continue in sorow and grief of minde for their sakes, which so outrageously con­temne and despise Christ our Sa­uiour, and all Christian Religion. Therefore it is our parte to pray vnto God with a faithfull hart & feruent desire that his kyngdomeMat. 6. 10 may come. In like maner we had nede to wishe and pray that the world may be ouerthrowen and vtterly destroyed, which most ar­rogantly and blasphemously doth [Page] set it selfe agaynst Christ and hys bloud, and can neuer make an end of his raging fearcenes, and cruel persecutyng of poore Christians. For so that forme of prayer which Christ our Sauiour hath prescri­bed vnto vs, teacheth vs courage­ously, and with confidēce to pray, that this day may come, and that we cry without ceasing vnto god, that once at the length he will be reuenged on those wicked and de­sperate verlettes, for the spitefull handlyng of hys holy and preci­ous bloud.

No Christian man ought or cā pray otherwise then thus, especi­ally such as are molested and af­flicted for the confession of Christ, and preachyng of the Gospell and kyngdome of God: who haue no other refuge on earth, but feruent & faythfull prayer. He that is not thus affectioned in his mind, that he doth not desire y last day with [Page] all his hart: doth not yet vnder­stand the Lordes prayer, much lesse can he say it with his hart. As I by experiēce did once plain­ly perceaue in my selfe, at what tyme I was more delighted with other formes of prayer deuised by mās braine, then with that which our Sauiour himself hath taught vs. But to him that is oppressed with the miserie and calamitie of this world, it will seme a swete prayer, such a man will say it with all his hart. For who in such a case will not desire, and pray most fer­uently,Mat. 6. 13. that we be deliuered from euill, to the end all plagues, vexa­tions and troubles of the world may haue an end, seyng we see the world will remaine as it is? It will not (folowyng ye exāple of the Adder) suffer his old skynThe Adder (as they say) euery spryng, of purpose▪ wresting him selfe thorow a narrow place, lea [...]eth hys olde skynne behynd him as it were leauyng of his old coate▪ and putting on a new one. to be taken of, that is, it will not repent & amend, but will continue as be­fore, [Page] or rather dayly en­crease more and more in wickednes.

Therfore of all thinges this is the best, withal spede possi­ble to departe out of it. For here we liue euē as it were in a den of theues, and manquellers, and can hardly, no not at all, sometymes defēd our selues from violēt iniu­ry, and losse of life. Therfore for myne owne part I care not what shift I made honest and lawfull to ryd my selfe out of the world. For (as S. Cyprian sayth) who can haue any delight to liue in so fil­thy and troublesome estate, and condition, beyng as it were beset about with swords and daggers, ready drawen agaynst vs, so that it seemeth vnpossible to escape, if we had a thousand liues? Who in this case can be mery, before he see some man come to deliuer hym? But we are they which are in [Page] this case, as we may easily vn­derstand, if we consider well our estate, and condition, our misery & calamity, the daunger that han­geth ouer our heades, how busyly the deuill goeth about to entrap vs, how fiercely he setteth vpon vs, and how we are constrayned with great payne and trouble to award his most bitter, and vene­mous dartes, so that we can ne­uer haue rest.

What els therfore should we desire, but that withall spede we may be deliuered out of these vn­tollerable greuaunces and daun­gers, which is, by the comming of our true Sauiour to iudgement at the last day? which who so euerThis is a a true say­ing, that we can not pray fayth­fully, nor beleue in god a right excepte we ioyfully, [...]ooke for commyng of our Sa­uiour to iudgemēt. doth not desire, he can not say the Lordes prayer, nor the Articles of our fayth with his hart, as he ought. For with what fayth can a man say: I beleue the resurrection of the flesh, and life euerlastyng: and [Page] doth not desire it? For if a man be­leue it, he must nedes desire it with hys hart, and be glad of it when soeuer it shall come, other­wise he is no Christiā in dede, nei­ther can he iustly brag of his faith.

For faith is a certaine know­ledge of Gods bountiful goodnes towardes vs, which we tast day­ly, but shall chiefly and perfectly enioy it at the last day: whereof we are put in mynde by three Ar­ticles of our faith, by the which we are taught to say: 1. We beleue yt our SauiourMat. 24. 30. and. 25. [...]1. Act. 1▪ 11. 10. 42. &. 17. 30. 2. [...]im. 4. 1. Pet. 4. 5. shal come from heauē, to iudge the quicke and the dead: 2. WhoEsay. [...]6. 19. Ezec. 37. 5. Iob. 19. 26. Mat▪ 12. 42. Ma [...]. 12. 25. Luc. 14. 14. Ioan. 11. 24. Luc.. 321. 1. Cor. 15. 12. Colos 3. 4. 1. Thes. [...]. 14. Ioan. 3. 36 & 5. 2. ▪ Rom 6. 33. Dan. 12. 2. Mat. 19. [...]9. and 25. 45. Ioan. 3 15. and 4. 1 [...]. 36. Ioan. 6. 27. and 40. and 47. and 54. Ioan. [...]0. 28. and 12. 15. and 50. and 17. 2. Act. 1 [...] 46 & 48. Rom. 2. 7▪ and 5. [...]1. and 6. 22 Gal. 6. 8. Tit. [...]. 2. and 3. 4. 1. Cim. 1. 16. and 6. 12. 1. Ioan. 1. 2. and 2. 25. and 5. 11▪ and 13. and [...]0. Iude Epist. [...]1. at hys cōmyng shall rayse vp oure bodyes: 3. And receaue both body and soule together vnto the euer­lastyng [Page] life.

This is part of our faith wher by we are iustified: apprehendyng therby the mercy of God almigh­tye towardes vs miserable syn­ners. Without the which we can not be saued. For it is written: He M [...]. [...] ▪ 16. that beleueth, shall be saued: and he that beleueth not, shall be damned. Faith therfore is (as I may terme it) the onely staffe wherupon we must rest in this our pilgrimage, beyng ouer laden with vntollera­ble burdens of sinne and daūgers yt ensue thereof. Which staffe will do vs no seruice, except we take it in our handes, and vse it at all tymes conuenient. But we can not, nor will not streatch forth our handes to receaue it, except we be desirous therof. Again, except we desire those things which we are taught to beleue, it is a manifest argument, that we do not take them to be Gods benefites, and to [Page] procede of his bountifull goodnes towards vs, which is the proper­tie of the true iustifiyng faith.

Therfore I conclude, that we cānot well say the Articles of our faith, that is, we can not beleue a right in Christs cōming to iudge­ment, the resurrection of our flesh, and life euerlasting, except we de­sire that the last day may come, at what time our true Sauiour will put vs in full possession of these ex­cedyng great benefites of his. A­gayne, a man that hath no desire of the last day, doth not well vn­derstand the ten commaunde­mentes: For what meaneth it when he saith, I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not take my name Exod. 20. 2 in vayne: thou shalt not steale, thou shalt not kill▪ thou shalt not commit Gal. 3. 24. adultery▪ &c. but that we are in daunger of al these vices and wic­kednesses, and that such is our state and condition, that without [Page] sinne and great daunger we can not liue: the deuill endeuoryng by all meanes to persuade vs, that we do not take God onely for our God, & by crafty meanes to with­draw vs from a quiet, ioyfull, and godly life. He setteth vp idolatry, raiseth vp blasphemy, and vnha­lowyng of Gods name, he stirreth vp men to disobedience, sedition, wrath, filthy lust, robbery, theft, murder, and all kinde of wicked­nes. These incommodities who so euer seeth in deede, & would fayne be ryd of them, must nedes desire the last day, which is the tyme when all these, and such other mi­series, and calamities, shall haue an end.

Agaynst which the Lordes prayer was appointed and deui­sed by our Sauiour Christ as a remedy, especially where he hath taught vs to say: Halowed be thy Mat. 6. 9. name, thy kyngdome come, Thy [Page] will be done, and deliuer vs from all euill. It remaineth therfore that we vse this remedy, hartely pray­ing to God our heauenly father for these thinges, which we cānot throughly and perfectly receaue before the end of the world. For (as I said before) there is no hope of any better, then this miserable estate present, as lōg as the world endureth: especially in this our lat ter tymes towardes the end ther­of, it beyng now euen at the point to be cōsumed & vtterly destroyed for euer. For it is euen the deuils derling, past all hope of amende­ment, so yt all labour yt is bestowed vpō it, to any such end, is in vaine: Which we may euidently per­ceaue, considering how the word of God is dayly more & more con­temned. Many kind of errours, pestiferous sectes, horrible wic­kednesses increase dayly, where­by the world is worse and worse [Page] whiles we hope (but in vayne) for amendement.

Wherfore then, in such mise­ries and calamities should we be greatly desirous of our lyfe? And if I for myne owne part had no great cause to desire the end of all things, yet the perill and daunger of my brethren, scattered here and there in the world, ought to moue me: for whose sake we haue good cause hartly to pray for it, whose state is such (as we both heare & see) that they are constrained to suffer all maner of ignominy, re­proch, slaunderous wordes, both priuely and openly, violent iniu­ry, and finally most greuous per­secution what soeuer, with diuers kinds of tormentes, cruelly hand­led, and put to death.

For how many euē in our dayes haue we sene, partly burnt open­ly, or by some such meanes made away, partly put to death, priuely [Page] and by traiterous meanes dispat­ched? There are many, besides the infinite number of holy mē, which haue bene slayne before our tyme, since the Ascention of our Saui­our Christ, or rather since the be­ginnyng of ye world. Whose bloud beyng yet vnreuenged, cryeth for the commyng of our Sauiour to iudgement: to the end they be­yng restored to their bodyes a­gayne, may haue full fruition of the ioyes lōg looked for, and may be reuēged of the world, as the re­uelation of Iohn declareth: Where God comforteth them after this sort, saying: that they must rest for Apoc. 6. 10. a litle season, vntil the num­ber The Saintes of God do not require ven­geance of theyr ene­myes, bycause of pri­uate hatred, but by­cause they know thē to be Gods enemyes, and do rage with de­uelishe fury agaynst his holy Church, and agaynst hys euerla­styng truth. And in this case the loue of our neighbour hath no place, where it is repugnant to the loue of God. whose glory we ought to perferre before the commodi­ties of all the world. Therfore when man is such an enemye vnto GOD, that we must needes hate the one, and loue y other, we must loue God, & hate man. Psal. 139. 21. and in Gods cause pray for the destruc­tion of man. Ier. 18. 11 ver. 21. as agaynst the enemy of GOD, vppon a zeale and fer­uēt loue of Gods glo­ry, especially if they be such as we perceaue offende not of igno­raunce, but of malici­ous stubburnes and that agaynst theyr cō ­sciēce. But in our own cause, as they are in­iurious vnto our own persō, we must rather pray for man, then a­gaynst mā, as we are taught by the exāple of our Sauiour and Steuen. Act. 7. 60. of their fel [...]w seruaūtes and brethren, which should be killed in like maner, were fulfilled, which I hope is now come to passe.

Therfore both the Chri­stians that are lyuyng, [Page] and those that are depar­ted, after a sorte do desire vs to helpe them with our prayers, desiring God to hasten their redemption. For what thing can be more miserable vnto Chri­stiās, then that they should be cōstrained alwayes to hold their tounges, the world and the deuill con­tinually bragging and ra­ging ouer thē, dayly put­ting to death and cruelly murderyng more & more of the faithfull professours of Iesus Christ & his vn­faillible word, and sedu­cyng men, more and more encreasing these haynous offēces which before were vntollerable?

We heare & see at this present, the Turke and the [Page] Pope, which is Antichrist, rage with most cruell tyranny agaynst y name of Christ, dayly sheddyng the bloud of his Saintes, with many sectes bysides, contrary to his Gospell: And should we, hol­dyng our handes in our bosome, looke vpon the deuill, practisyng without measure his crafty de­uises agaynst the Christians, and not make our earnest prayer vnto God for them without ceasyng? There is no sparke of Christianity in a mans body remainyng, that would not pray vnto God with­all his harte to be deliuered out of these so great miseries and cala­mities.

Therfore if we haue a mynde to be Christians, we must endeuer our selues to pray diligently and earnestly, as our Sauiour hath taught vs, and as our necessity re­quireth, if it be any necessity: whē we see good Christiās with great [Page] persecution slayne, true doctrine oppressed, the kingdome of the de­uill, withall maner of vice & wic­kednes, aduaunced: Saintes, by the meanes of wicked men, not onely despised and troade vnder foote, but consumed to dust and ashes: finally the Gospell of Christ our Lord, and his name spitefully blasphemed.

Therfore let vs call vpon God all that we may, desiryng him for the glory of his name, to take vp­pon him the defence of hys Chri­stian children, and of his owne doctrine, and bryng them, by hys commyng at the last day to iudgeHe [...]. 4. 3. Gen. 3. 15. Reuel. 13. 8 Ioan 1. 2 [...] 1. Pet. 1▪ 19 Ro. 16. 25. Ephes▪ 3. 9. Colos. 1 26 2. Timo. 1. 10. Tit. 1. 2. the quicke and the dead, to that glorious rest which he hath pro­mised and prepared for them, frō the beginning of ye world, through the death and Passion of the im­maculate lambe our Sauiour Christ. But if any man through the infirmitie of hys fleshe be a­frayde [Page] of that day: let hym print deepely in his mind the wordes of Christ our Sauiour, and comfort him selfe with this, that hee byd­deth vs lift vp our heades and be of good cheare, callyng that tyme our redemptiō, that is: not death, but euerlastyng life: not wrath, but mercy and grace: not hell, but the kingdome of God: not terror, or daunger, but comfort and ioye. And therfore Paule, not without [...]it. 2. 13. a cause, calleth it the blessed hope and appearyng of the glory of the great God, and our Sauiour Iesus Christ.

Therfore we may be of good cheare, & nede not feare the losse of our lyfe, nor his commyng toMath. 10. 32. Mat. 10. 38 Rom. 8. 17 2. Tim. 3. 12. Math. 10. 25. Ioan. 16. 2 and. 33. Iudgemēt, which hath geuen vs his Gospell, and his grace there­with, not to deny him, but to loue him and confesse him, & to shunne no daūger in his cause, which are and will be layd before vs of the [Page] world, and of the deuill, vntill the comming of our Sauiour: whose comming shall not be terrible, but ioyfull, yet not to the world, but to vs miserable sinners: which for a tyme must continue here, as it were in a den of theues, where the deuill, day and night seeketh to draw vs: takyng away from vs, not onely our life and our goods, but vexyng our hartes, and our consciences with diuers stormes of temptations, to the ende we should feare the day of our redēp­tion, and beyng destitute of all cō ­fort, should fal into vtter despera­tion. Unto vs thus troubled, the commyng of our Sauiour shalbe ioyfull: but vnto the world which will not beleue, what daunger hangeth ouer his head, before he haue experience thereof: it shallMath. 24. 48. bryng terrour, feare, plagues, death, destruction, hell fire.

Therfore when that day shall [Page] come vpon the sodaine, and vtter­ly destroy all thinges, there is no cause why thou, that art a faith­full Christian, shouldest be afrayd therof, least it destroy thee in lyke sorte. For either beyng receiued, thou shalt bee taken out of the graue, and out of dust into heauē:1. Thes. 4. 17. 1. Cor. 15. 32. or els in a moment thou shalt be chaunged into a glorious estate for euer, & placed where no sinne, no feare, no sorrow, no daunger, but true rightuousnes, ioy, peace, lyfe, tranquilitie and euerlastyng blessednes shall reigne. These thynges we looke for, and preach, for the little flockes sake, which shall receaue them at that day, which we desire withall our hartes, and hope it to be now hard at hand, bycause so many signes and tokens thereof are al­ready past, forespoken by Christ, our true Sauiour. And this is that consolation & comfort, which [Page] no mā can geue, but onely the ho­lyIoā. 14. 27 Iob. 1. 17. Rom. 8. 11. & Ioā. 7. 38 Act. 9. 31. Rom. 5. 3. and. 10. 17. & 1 [...]. 14. 5. 1. Lor. 2. 10 ghost, by the word of Christ our Lord.

Let vs suffer therefore the Sunne, the Moone and all crea­tures to lowre, and to threaten terrible thinges to come: For al­though they bee terrible vnto the world, they are ioyfull vnto vs, which in them see that cōfortable deliueraūce, which our Sauiour by y wordes of this Gospell hath declared vnto vs, and which he expoundeth vnto vs by this godly parable, or similitude folowyng: See (sayth he) the figge trees, and all other trees, when they shoot out their buds, you see and know of your selues, how that Sōmer is thē nigh at hand: so likewise ye also whē see these thinges come to passe, be sure that the kyngdome of GOD is nigh. Doubtelesse this is a nota­ble exposition, which I my selfe could neuer inuent, or apply vnto [Page] this purpose. For who euer herd, that the darkenyng of y Sunne, and the Moone, the destructiō of the heauē and earth, the feare and tremblyng of men, the ruine of the ayre, water & all creatures, should be likened to the shootyng out of buds, and y blossomyng of trees? I would thinke rather that these thynges should bee lykened to a rough, sharpe, and very hard winter, which with vntollerable cold destroyeth and kylleth all frutes, and what soeuer groweth vpon the earth.

But our Sauiour Christ of all other the best interpreter and ex­pounder of his word, expoundeth these signes after an other sorte, better to our comfort and consola­tion: shewyng that those thynges which seeme terrible vnto vs, are pleasaūt and beautifull to behold: as if we see the Sunne and the Moone darkened, the water and [Page] the wyndes stormy and tempestu­ous, the mountaines ouerthrowē & made equall with the valleyes, he teacheth vs to say: thankes be to God, for now the pleasaunt som [...] [...]s at hād, now we see the spryng of the leafe in some trees, and other some to shoot out theyr buddes.

No man, no reason, no humane wisedome, could thus interprete these signes, terrible to behold, that redemption and euerlastyng ioye should be signified thereby, which vnto reason, & mans wise­dome seeme rather to prognosti­cate death and all kind of destruc­tion. But seyug we haue learned this interpretation of such a nota­ble scholemaster, euē of him which sendeth them, and therfore know­eth best how to expound thē: ther­fore (I say) let vs learne it well, & accustome our selues vnto it, that we may print it in our mindes the [Page] better to our comfort, and that we may behold these signes, and geue our indgement of them accordyng to the word of God: and not ac­cording to reason and mans wise­dome, which is foolish, and [...]ull of corruption, which teacheth vs to shunne and bee afrayed of those things, that in dede are pleasaunt & ioyfull. It will not gladly suffer vs to be hold all thinges darkened and to looke lowringly: thunder & lightenyng, great stormes & tē ­pestes, are vnacceptable vnto it.

Notwithstanding a Christian mā ought not to be troubled ther­with, but take hold vpon Gods word, whereby he openeth our myndes, yt as he interpreteth these thinges, we may interprete them also: knowyng therby y pleasant­nes of sommer is now at hād, and the earth will very shortly bryng forth an abundance of goodly li­lies and swete roses, most pleasāt [Page] to behold, that is to lay: that now after this filthy and wicked lyfe, in the which we are tumbled and tossed with many miseries, and1. Lor. 5. 7 2. Cor. 5. [...]. [...]. 6. 15 Eph. 4. 24 calamities we shalbe brought in­to the hauen of tranquillitie, bles­sednes, and all pleasure, which ne­uer shall haue end.

For this is his will, that as weThat is best, which is new vn­to ye world, but old vn­to God. must be new mē, so we must haue new sences, new cogitatiōs, new vnderstandyng of thynges, & not behold any thyng with the eyes of our own reason, as they seme vn­toColos. 3. 9 Collos. 2. 8 the world, but with the eyes of faith, and as they seme vnto God: that we may the better fashiō ourHeb. 11. 1 selues vnto that new lyfe to come which is inuisible, which we hope for, after the tribulation of this world. And that we be not de­lighted with this temporall lyfe, nor greued to depart out of it, or to see the destruction of the world and all creatures therin, of whom [Page] it is no time now to take pitie, we ought rather to take pitie of the miserable Christiās, both of them which presently are afflicted in the world, and also of them which be­yng departed, sleepe in the graue, and desire to see the glorious day of their resurrection. Euen as the yerbes which in the wynter tyme lye hid in the earth, and the trees, the iuyce therof beyng kept in with cold, can not spryng and bryng forth buds, blossomes, and leaues, but looke for the spryng, at which tyme shootyng out their buds, they florish, and are liuely to behold: so we in lyke maner ought with ioy to looke for the iast day, saying: Now the sharpe­nes of wynter is ended, the plea­saunt sommer is come, yea such a sommer which neuer shall haue end. At the commyng wherof not onely the Saintes, but also the Angels reioyce, and are glad. Pea [Page] all creatures after a sort looke for1. Pet. 1. 12 Rom. 8. 22 it, and desire it earnestly.

For heauen, earth,A mynde & speach at­tributed to creatures without lyse. Esa. [...]4 23. and not properly but figuratiuely▪ as whē we say the earth doth prayse the Lord, that is to say, it doth declare hys wonde­rous workes, and the workemanshyp ther­of ministreth a man matter to prayse the Lord: so it desireth y last day, that is to say, it being accursed day­ly more and more for our synne, sheweth our miserable estate, and what cause we haue to [...]ament and to desire our deliueraūce by the cōmyng of our sauiour to iudgemēt. Sunne, Starres, ayre and all creatures can no lenger beare the wicked­nes of the world, which they are constrayned to behold, vnto whom it is greuous to serue to the vse, or rather to the abuse of sinners, & are an ayde to the wickednes of the deuil. And therefore they would gladly bee deliue­red of thys fylthy bon­dage, and be made a new heauen, and a new earth: as Peter, and the Prophet Esay2. Pet. 3. 13 Apoc. 2 [...]. 1. Esa. 65. 17. and. 66. 22. sayth, in y which onely rightuous­nes shall dwell. For iniquitie and the wi [...]kednes of man passeth all measure: so that it can not be suf­fred any longer. And therfore all thynges are moued (as now we [Page] see) crying (as it were) vnto God for their deliueraunce.

For this cause our Sauiour Christ concludeth after this sort: So you, when you see these thynges come to passe, know that the kyng­dome of God is at hand. Verely I say vnto you: this age shall Here an age may be taken for the space of two thousand yeares, whereof there are but thre in all the world, one frō the beginning of the world vnto the law, the secōd frō the law vnto the cōmyng of our Sauiour, and the last from the com­myng of our Sauiour vnto the ende of the world, which shalbe shortened. But how much it is vncertain. not passe, vntill all thynges be fulfilled: heauen and earth shall passe, but my word shall not passe. As though he should say, you haue prayed after this sorte: Let thy kyngdome come, deliuer vs from euill: Therfore now know you for a certainty, euen as certainely as my worde is true and euerlastyng, that when you see these sygnes, your prayer is heard, that the kyngdome of God shall come euen as you haue desired: and all sinne shall haue an end, and be consumed. &c.

[Page]Therfore when I come in the cloudes withall my aungels, with great glory in flaming fyre, wher­with all creatures shall melt and be consumed, and all thinges shall geue alyght, and shyne after a straunger and wonderfull sorte: your bodyes shalbe glorified, so yt they shall passe the purenes of the ayre, and all the army of heauen, shyne they neuer so bright, and shall raigne with me for euer in vnspeakable glory. Finally, you shall see the wicked vnder your feete naked in the earth, in perpe­tuall shame, tremblyng and sha­kyng, beyng accursed and cast downe headlong into hell.

Now to make an end, after this sort, as I haue declared vnto you, the signes of the last day must be expounded vnto the Christian people, that it may appeare they signifie no harme, but marueilous ioy, great profite, and commodity. [Page] As for the Astronomers let them interprete them to signifie no­thyng els but warre, murder, and vtter destruction: let them feare and tremble, which haue, and desire nothyng but a temporall lyfe, and pleasaunt dayes in this world: But let vs be of good cheare, as men that are renued and regenerate in Christ thorow the holy Ghost. And euen as he is the Lord of heauen and earth and all creatures therein: so we by hym are the Lordes of all signes, what soeuer semeth terrible to the eyes of mā: neither can any thing hurt vs, n [...], although it take a­way ou [...] life. For our lyfe and con­uersationPhil. 3. 20 is not here, but we looke for an other lyfe when our body shalbe deliuered, which lyfe is now hid with Christ in heauen, through fayth (as S. Paul sayth)Collos. 3. 3 but shortly shalbe reuiued before all the world in immortall and [Page] euerlastyng bryghtnes: When both in body and soule, we shall raigne with God the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost, to whom be all prayse, ho­nour, and glory, world without ende.


¶The Signes that were geuen to the inhabitantes of Hierusalem, before their destruction.

A Whole yeare before the1. commyng of Vespas [...]an to [...] the C [...]e, right o­uer it, was sene a blasing Starre lyke vnto a sword: which the common people dyd interpret to be a token of their deli­ueraunce out of bondage, into the which they were brought by the Romanes. 2.

Before the warre begon, at the feast of vnleauened br [...]ad, which was then the viij. day o [...] Aprill, there was sodenly sene at nyne of the clocke at night, for the space of halfe an houre, such a great light about the Alter, and the Temple, that it semed to be mydday.

At y same feast, a Cow beyng brought3. to bee sacrificed, brought forth a Lambe in the myddest of the Church.

The Cast gate of the Temple, beyng4. of brasse and shut euery nyght, but not without the strength of twenty men, be­yng locked [...] barred with diuers lockes and barres, was sene at v [...]. of the clocke at night, and (as Egesippus testifieth) di­uers nyghtes to open it selfe without the [Page] hand of men. This thyng was thought of the most parte to bée a token of good lucke, and that the gates of their ene­myes should open vnto them of theyr owne accorde. But some that were of th [...] wiser sorte, sayd it was a token that the strength of the Temple should be dissol­ued without the hand of man, that it myght be spoyled of theyr enemyes and destroyed.

A few dayes after theyr solemne5. [...]eastes, there appeared in the cloudes be­fore Sunne settyng, a vision of charets, and hostes of armed men, where with all the Cities of Iurye & the countrey there about were inuaded and ouerrunne.

At the feast called Pentecost, the6. Priestes entryng in the nyght into the inner Temple, according to theyr maner to do theyr diuine seruice, first they per­ceaued a noyse or rushelyng after, they heard a voyce saying often: Let vs de­parte hence, let vs depart hence.

One called Iesus, the sonne of Anani, 7. a base man and of low degree, foure yeares before the warre, the Citie beyng in great wealth and quyetnes, commyng to the celebration of one of theyr solemne feastes, called the feastes of tabernacles, [Page] went vp into the Temple, and sodenly cryed out with a loude voyce, saying: A voyce from the East, a voyce from the West; a voyce from the foure wyndes, a voyce agaynst Hierusalem, and the tēple, a voyce agaynst new maryed mē, and new maried women, a voyce against all this people: crying thus day and night he went thorough all the stréetes of the Citie. Certaine of the chief men, beyng a [...]ed, and fearyng that it was a token of misfortune, tooke the mā and whipped him. But he whiles he was beaten, cried styll as before, and beyng still beaten, vn­till a man myght sée hys bare bones, hée [...]er desired them to let hym go, nei­ther [...]yd hee shed any teares for the mat­ter, but cryed still at euery strype: Wo, wo vnto the inhabitauntes of Hierusa­lem, and at the length dimissed, as a man out of hys wittes, he cryed still as before, especially, on the solemne feast dayes, vntill the slege of the Citie, at which tyme he entryng vp on the wall, and cry­ing, wo, wo vnto the City, the Temple, and the people: he cryed at the last w [...] vnto my selfe, and was cast do wne dead with a stone hurled to hym by the ene­myes out of one of theyr engyns. They [Page] were nothyng moued with these sygnes, but thinkyng they should haue victory ouer theyr enemyes, resisted them, vntill both they and theyr Citie was destroyed, accordyng to the wordes of our Saui­our. Luc. 19. 43.

¶ Signes, and wonders signifiyng alteration, or misery and calamity of certaine Countreys, and Nations, or of great Personages.

ABout the yeare from the begynnyng of the world. 3458. Tarquinius, surna­med Superbus the seuēth Kyng of the Romanes, was depriued of his kyng­dome by hys subiectes, and thrust out by force of armes, and the state of gouer­naunce altered, from the gouernement of one monarche, vnto ij. yearely offices called Consuls: a little before which time in signification thereof (as Historiogra­phers do write) a Dogge did speake, and a Serpent [...]id barke. T. Plinius lib. 8. Cap. 41.

The yeare from the begynnyng of the world. 3538. the light of the Sunne was so taken away by an [...]lipse séene in Grece, that a man might sée the Starres aswell at midday, as at midnight. Short­ly afterwardes folowed y warre, called the warre of Peloponesus which conti­nued seuen and twenty yeares. Thu­cidides.

The yeare from the begynnyng of the [Page] world. 3698. at Rome, and the countrey there about, bloud in stede of water gu­shed out of the sprynges, and milke from heauen, lyke raine. Shortly after fol­lowed the warre of Carthage agaynst the Romanes, which cost the lyues of many thousandes. Orosius li. 4. Cap. 5.

Anno Domini. 1452. Constantino­ple in Grece (where in those dayes was the Emperours Palace) was besieged & ouercome of ye great Turke, called Ma­homet the second of that name: who when he had gottē the victory, vsed most beastly cruelty towardes the Christians, both men, women, and children, old and young, rich and poore. The Emperour beyng slayne, hys head was set vpon a speare, & caryed round about the Citie, (ye more to greue his subiectes) hys wife and daughter, with many noble women were rauished, and after cut in péeces, all the noble men were slayne, the common people were made bond slaues, and ma­ny other such lyke vilanies were done, bysides the bryngyng of the whole coun­trey of Grece into hys owne dominion. A little before which tyme, was sene at Comus, a Citie in Fraunce, towardes Sunne settyng, a great multitude of [Page] dogges, caryed in the ayre, and after thē droues of diuers kyndes of beastes: also men armed diuersely, some with speares and shieldes, who were pursued of a great army of horsemen, beyng deui­ded into diuers cōpanyes. For the space of thrée houres the army séemed to be set­tyng forth, at the last came forth a tall and huge man, fearefull to behold, sittyng vp­pon a terrible horse, séemyng to bée the Capitayne of the host: and many such straunge thynges appeared, vntill nyght when they could be no more sene.

THese few examples I haue here ad­ded in the end of the Sermon, to let men see that before great alterations or channges of kyngdomes and com­mon weales, God sendeth wonderfull tokens therof, to signifie the same be­fore it come to passe: whereby with Martin Luther, the author of this Ser­mon, we may well conclude that be­fore the alteration of the whole world (which is the last day) he will send ma­ny signes and tokens therof, which he sheweth for the most part to be alrea­dy fulfilled: and therefore the end of all thynges is now to bee looked for, [Page] bycause there hath happened of late dayes many wonderfull Eclipses, or darkenyngs of the Sunne, and Moone, many Sunnes haue bene sene at one tyme, many rayne bowes, many terri­ble blasyng Starres, and other straūge sightes of fire in the ayre, many great tempestes of wyndes, with flouds and earth quakes, which haue destroyed and ouerflowē both Cities, and whole countreyes: Wherof here might be ad­ded diuers examples, both of such as happened before Luther did write this Sermon, as also since that tyme. But they are almost innumerable, and haue bene partly sene with our owne eyes, and are at large set out in Print, by Conraedus Gesnerus, Marcus Fritschius, and others, who haue written no small bookes of such wonderful and straūge thynges, as by the prouidence of al­mighty God haue happened before tyme: to this end, that we seyng these thynges come to passe, forespoken by our Sauiour, might the more diligent­ly watch for hys commyng, least we folowyng the example of the lewde seruaunt, leade a carelesse lyfe in all kynde of wickednes, and he commyng [Page] vpon vs vnwares, geue vs our portion with hypocrites and dissemblers in euerlastyng fire, prepared for the deuill and hys aungels. God graunt vs therfore to watch for the commyng of our Sauiour, that we beyng prepa­red with oyle in our Lampes, he may take vs with hym vnto euerlastyng [...]lyfe.


* Imprinted at London, by Iohn Daye, ouer Aldersgate.

¶ Cum gratia & Priuilegi [...] Regi [...] Maiestatis.


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